Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.Proverbs 16:8
A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.Proverbs 16:10
A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work.Proverbs 16:11
In studying this passage the last few days we have begun to recognize God’s sovereignty. Once we acknowledge God’s sovereignty it naturally follows that we are accountable to him. When we live as people who believe that we are accountable to God, the outcome is a life lived with integrity.
Living with integrity is a theme in this week’s passage. The passage references 5 benefits of living with integrity. We looked at the first two yesterday. Today we will look at three more benefits to living with integrity.
- Peace of mind. v.8
According to the Word of God it is better to do worse financially that to give away your integrity for a price. In what ways is it better?
People who do business without integrity
- must deal with the guilt of what they have done.
- constantly look over their shoulder thinking they may get caught.
- eventually pay for what they have done.
Those who do business with integrity are the kind of people who do better in business long term. People want to deal with those who are honest and work hard.
- Wisdom for leading. v.10
In the context of Solomon’s day the King was to speak what was righteous, and was to seek God for direction to lead. The king that sought God spoke on God’s behalf. In our context, when a leader needs wisdom from God, God is inclined to give it to Him. In the book of James, God promises to give wisdom to those who confidently ask for it.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (6) But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (7) For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.James 1:5-7
A leader who has the integrity to look for wisdom from God for leading will be given the wisdom that is needed.
- God’s favor on our work. v.11
When a person sold goods in ancient times, much like today, they sold some goods by its weight. Dishonest merchants would manipulate their scales to their benefit either to get more goods for less money if they were buying, or to give less money for more goods as they sold. The businessman that had integrity made sure that the scales that were used were as accurate as possible. This kind of businessman was looking for fairness in their dealings. What verse 11 tells us is that God’s will is always for business to be done with integrity. If fair scales are the Lord’s, then you know that the business that uses this philosophy will be blessed.
The application is fairly straightforward:
Integrity is incredibly valuable. It is not something that we should give away. God is inclined towards those who live with and practice integrity. Conversely, to live without integrity is to sacrifice peace of mind, lead without wisdom, and to lose the blessing of God on what we do.
- What can you do today to live with greater integrity?
- Are you using any “unjust scales” in your life and work?
- Are you living out of man’s wisdom or God’s?